Simulated drought influences oxidative stress in Zea mays seedlings
Drought is an abiotic factor that limits the productivity of crop plants survival and productivity. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of simulated drought on the malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant enzymes activity in Zea mays. Seedlings were grown for 8 weeks in nursery bags filled with sandy-loam soil in two categories. Category 1 which serves as a control and received 300 ml of water every three days throughout the experimental period . Category 2 received 300ml of water every 2 days for 5 weeks before subjecting them to simulated drought. Physiological and metabolic parameters which include biomass, relative water content, total chlorophyll, oxidative damage and antioxidant enzyme activity were evaluated after the treatments. Analysis of variance at 0.05 significance level was used as the statistical tool. The results showed that drought condition caused a significant decrease in biomass, total chlorophyll, relative water content (RWC) of the plant and a significant increase in MDA level, and activity of catalase peroxidase. It was concluded that drought made water absorption by plants difficult and also induced oxidative stress in plants.
Keywords: Catalase, drought, oxidative stress, seedlings, Zea mays